On Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression is real and new mothers often fail to recognise it and reach out for help. If you are a new mother or going to be one or know someone who is, share this article  of mine on the topic. Yes, once again on Mums Write. Don’t forget to show some love by liking the article (only if you like it) 🙂

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A letter to my daughter

A letter to my daughter

Dear daughter o’mine,

You laugh a lot, with gay abandon, accompanied by snorts. Don’t let anyone tell you it is unladylike.

You climb on your dad, roll on the floor and play with cars. Don’t let them tell you should have been a boy.

You run, scream, jump and talk non stop, trying to burn the seemingly inexhaustible energy I am still wondering the source of. Don’t let their disapproving stares bother you.

You play with your dolls, cooking for and feeding them. You even put them to bed. Don’t let them tell you that is how girls play.

You like ribbons and pony tails but couldn’t care less about princesses and unicorns. You sleep with a teddy bear. You like trucks, aeroplanes and skateboards. Digging in the dirt and climbing trees are some of your favourite past times. Don’t let them teach you to choose between any of those.

Don’t let anyone define who you are or what you should be. Wear blacks, reds and blues if you like and be who you want to be.

You are just a child, free and wild. And that is how it should be.

I’m on Mums Write

So, I submitted an article to Mums Write and actually got accepted. If you are a parent or are going to be one, this might be some useful information. If you aren’t a parent, then share this with others who are.

http://mumswrite.com.au/putting-yourself-first/

Published on Mums Write

Distraction

I’m sorry about not posting for so long even after having said that I will. Life happens and I cannot stop it. However, I have something else for you on my travel blog.

If you are interested in reading about some tips for travelling with children, you are welcome to read my recent update on my travel blog: Tips for air travel with kids

That should keep you occupied, while I finish the draft that I had originally planned to post here.

Moving to Australia – things to do

Newly arrived or arriving shortly in Australia? Here on a permanent residence visa? Here are the things you need to do on priority.

Tips: Carry your passport and visa to get the below done, in addition to mentioned documents.

  1. Get an address

You are either renting a house or still staying with a friend or relative before you rent a house. But you need to have an address to direct the various correspondences.

I’m not sure if a hostel or shared accommodation would work for an address proof. Please leave a comment below if you have stayed in a shared accommodation or hostel and how it worked out for the address proof.

Tip: You might want to rent a house that is closer to the childcare center or school (if you are planning those for your child(ren) or to the train station and bus stop if you would be using public transport on a regular basis.

  1. Medicare card

Public healthcare is free in Australia provided you are registered in the system of Medicare. All PR holders are eligible to apply for Medicare card. You just visit a center close to you and directly apply there. You can also download the form online and submit it at the Medicare center along with your identity and address proof documents. If you don’t have a Medicare card, you will be charged.

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/medicare-services

     3. Bank account

My husband and I have our accounts in Commbank (Commonwealth bank of Australia). Recently one of my friends opened his account in NAB (National Australia Bank), as it has no minimum transaction per month mandate. You can either call them up or visit them before deciding.

In Commbank there are two types of accounts: Smart Access and Saver. The former is used for transactions and latter only for saving. If you end up opening a Saver (like I did, unintentionally) you won’t be able to do transactions using it. So make sure you get the one for transaction. You can open a Saver once you get a job for better interest rates. You can open an account online, however, you would need to visit the branch office for document verification. Check if document uploading is available.

Tip: After you open the account, you can get address proof/statement of address from the bank to submit to Medicare or elsewhere.

   4. TFN (tax file number)

If you are planning to work, it is essential that you have a TFN. And you would need to update it for your bank account as well. The TFN can be applied for online. Easy peasy.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/

5. Register for myGov online account.

myGov is a Government website where you can link a range of Government services and access from a single place. Important among those services are – Medicare, ATO (Australian Taxation Office), Centerlink, Child Support.

https://my.gov.au/LoginServices/main/login?execution=e3s1

   6. Register for Centerlink services

Based on your financial situation, Centerlink provides assistance and services to individuals and families including, childcare benefit (CCB), childcare rebate (CCR), family tax benefit, etc. Visit a center or call them to check your eligibility for any of the assistance they provide.

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/centrelink

Tip: If you are a single income family with child(ren), you might be eligible for Family tax benefit. If your child attends a childcare, you will be eligible for the CCR and in most cases CCB as well. Both depend on your combined annual income.

  1. Childcare and schooling

If you plan on enrolling your child at a childcare center or a school, do check it out on priority after you arrive. There is usually a waiting list for vacancies at childcare. An immunization record (can be generated online from Medicare), for your child, is required to be produced for enrolment.

Check here to choose a childcare and other early education details. It would be best to call up and make an appointment before you visit a center.

Check here for schooling details for Victoria. And go here for school terms. It would be best to call up and make an appointment before you visit a school.

https://www.education.gov.au/

Tip: You might want to choose a childcare center or school that is closer to your house or on the way to your work.

  1. Immunisation

Visit a GP (General Practitioner) or a public hospital, to make sure your child’s immunisations are up to date according to the Australian Govt. requirements. If any immunization is required, the GP will administer it. Immunisation drives happen regularly at scheduled locations by the council. Check your council website for details. You would need a Medicare card for immunisation either at GP or council run sessions.

http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/national-immunisation-program-schedule

Check here for immunisation schedule for Victoria.

For council sponsored of City of Monash, go here for details about the schedule.

  1. General health and developmental check for your child(ren)

Maternal and Child health services is a free consultation based service that is offered at different stages of your child’s development (from birth until school age). Visit the webpage to find out about stages at which your child is due for a health and developmental check. You can also find your nearest center and make an appointment for your visit.

Tip: Appointments usually fill up very quickly (esp. at the time you would want, like mornings) so I suggest making an appointment as soon as you arrive.

All the best and I hope you like it here.

 

 

Who is holding you back?

I’ve been thinking a lot and philosophizing every aspect and detail of my life. I’ve been trying to figure out what is going wrong when really everything seems to be okey dokey. You know what I mean. Life cannot be perfect when there is a heap of dirty dishes in the sink, two loads of laundry waiting to be done and a hyper active child wanting to play with every darn thing she can lay her hands on. Need I say more? The house looks like a war scene on good days and absolutely apocalyptic on others. I’m still trying not to do it all, all the time. So okey dokey works well for me right now.

I am someone who likes having a fair amount of control. Like planning-executing, staying on top of my to-do list and in general feeling like I’m doing most of what I want to. And more often than not, things don’t go as planned. And I feel like I’m not up to it. I hold myself to some sort of standard and when I don’t live up to it I feel like I’ve let myself down. Which then leads to downward spiral of things and me.

In a lot of ways, I feel like staying at home is holding me back. I didn’t want to put it in words, for fear of it feeling like I’m accusing the child, because of whom I’m staying at home. But it isn’t. Neither of them is true. I’m staying at home not because of the child but because of my indecision. And all this overthinking has led me to finally unravel that staying at home doesn’t have to hold me back from doing anything. But it is. To put it in better words, I’m letting it.

I have stopped feeling passionate about writing or anything else that I used to be pretty ‘gung ho’ about. I have been thinking of getting serious about writing and didn’t want to put my heart out there, fearing what people would think of me as a writer (hah!) if I unravel my vulnerable self. I finally realized that it has been too darn long and not writing about what I really want to write about has doused the flame in me. I’m now scared of failure, scared of trying new things because I’m scared of failure, scared of changes because I’m scared of the unknown. And I’m done with being scared. No really, I don’t want to be scared anymore.

Staying at home didn’t mean I had to live an unhealthy lifestyle. It didn’t mean I had to just pass my time doing nothing, just because I could. It didn’t mean I had to stop dreaming. It didn’t mean I had to give up my hobbies. It didn’t mean I had to stop living my life, trying to make my child’s life perfect.

While I was at it, I asked myself what I would do if I wasn’t afraid of anything. What new thing would I try? Where would I go? How would it feel? And I was surprised at the possibilities that were right in front of me, that I had closed my eyes to.

So are you feeling down today? Have you been feeling down for sometime now? Why? Have you thought about it? If not I highly recommend doing what software folks call a “root- cause analysis”, which is self explanatory.

 

Life’s lessons in the form of a toddler

I have no idea when the terrible twos are supposed to begin. Baby A is 4 months short of being 3 years old and handling her is proving to be more difficult than I had thought. She is generally an easy child. She understands what I say and follows most of my instructions. Things started changing a couple of weeks back when she started becoming more wilful. She started resisting my instructions and doing things I have asked her to please not do. Now, it has reached a point where I am finding it extremely hard  to not scream my head off at her and lose it completely. Something that I end up doing at times.

Today as she kicked and kicked and kicked her high chair before I served her lunch, despite me asking her not too do so. I had to separate myself from the situation to cool my head enough to be able to see it dispassionately. I had already screamed at her and gave two time outs since morning. I didn’t want it to become a norm that she gets used to. The morning had already taken a toll on me. Now that I am calm enough to think about it, I feel that she too must have been frayed at the edges.

It is very easy to let temper take hold of you and do something that you can later blame on it. But the damage would be done and there would be no way to take back what you have already said or done. I am a staunch believer of seeing things from all angles to arrive at a solution/conclusion as to how to handle the situation or the people involved in it. So I took my own advice and left the room. I’m sure I confused her little mind by not saying anything and disappearing from sight. I just sat there in the living room, watching the sky from the window, breathing deeply and just thinking things out, while she thought I was punishing her and started her crying routine. But I wasn’t done gathering myself.

When I dissected the situation, I understood that it wasn’t her that was sending me off the edge. She did trigger my reaction, however it wasn’t the cause. There are a lot of things going on in my life that aren’t how I want them to be and it upsets me. And I have been doing useless things that would take my mind off those things (one of which is internet). And whenever Baby A does something that I think she shouldn’t, it makes me lose it. And her constant amma* this, amma that accompanied by whining doesn’t help either.

Pretty brilliant, eh? Something that seems like you have no control over, just after a few minutes seems so completely, logically workable. It is not her fault that she is strong-willed. In fact I want her to be strong-willed, in the right way, so that she doesn’t get bogged down later in life. I don’t want her to learn to blindly follow what someone in authority says. So it isn’t fair to ask her to blindly relent to my wishes. It is her right to know why she is being asked to do something, so it is only fair to explain it to her. It isn’t easy. It will never be easy. But it is the right thing to do. I should know better than to exploit my authority as a parent. And to do that, I should first get the irritants out of my life. Those that aren’t letting me see things straight.

Thank you little child, for teaching me something wonderful, something worth learning and something important to remember throughout my life.

I will make changes in my life through this coming week, that I believe would help restoring the health of my mind and body. And it starts with “Disconnect and Detox

I plan to disconnect with internet and social media for a week (to begin with) and detox both physically and mentally. Alongside I also want to cultivate some new habits and break the old ones. Of course, I will be back to tell you how it went.

So wish me luck. And see you around later.

PS: And mums, don’t beat yourself up if you do lose it once in a while. Scream if you must at that time, but always ALWAYS apologize and talk about it when when the both of you are calmer and saner. I bet I will lose it again at-least once in the coming week.  It is going to be alright.

*amma is mom/mum is Kannada